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Tornadoes caused minor damage, power outages and brought large hail to Arkansas

Swirling storm clouds on Monday evening moved over Subiaco Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in Logan County.

Crews from the National Weather Service are assessing damage after several isolated tornados and severe thunderstorms hit Arkansas on Monday night.

Tornadoes were reported in the communities of Barling, Charleston and Scranton. Another was in Faulkner County near Mayflower which was blamed for bringing down trees and causing scattered power outages.

John Lewis, a senior forecaster with the National Weather Service's Little Rock office, said damage was minimal. Much of the damage was caused by large hail.

“I would say this was mainly a hail event,” he said. “We had quite a few golf ball-sized hailstones or larger reported. We had up to a softball-sized hailstone reported at New Blaine, which is in Logan County.”

Lewis noted there was a lot of dry cold air, which helped produce hail. He said there had not been any reports of structural damage caused by the tornados.

“Just by the initial reports that we’ve received, it doesn’t appear like a lot," Lewis said in an interview around 12 a.m. "Maybe trees on houses, that kind of stuff, trees across roads. I have not heard about any significant, if you will, structural damage anywhere.”

The storms showed striations, which are grooves or channels in cloud formations that make a corkscrew shape or reflect a barbershop pole. Striations indicate the storms were turning with height and showing strong rotations, according to Lewis.

On Twitter Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service said crews were first visiting southern Faulkner, northern Pulaski and parts of Lonoke counties. Assessments will be made about the strength of the storms based on damage.

The University of Central Arkansas canceled classes for Tuesday because of power outages and isolated flooding. Entergy Arkansas reported most of its outages were in Faulkner County.

Arkansas could experience more severe weather through Wednesday, primarily in central and eastern parts of the state. Lewis warned that additional tornados, hail, damaging winds and heavy rain are all possible.

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